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Thread: The Divine Comedy

  1. #1
    Kortnii
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    The Divine Comedy

    This book was a masterpiece, i really loved it and I'll read it again. Not only is it enlightening, its all around built on intellectualism. Something rare in European society of Dantes time. It's an incredible story beautifully done.

  2. #2
    Registered User literaturerocks's Avatar
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    kortnii i couldnt agree with you more this story is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of its time. Dante was a great writer and this classic will stay on my bookshelf forever.
    "Life is a journey, not a destination"

    Currently Reading: Catcher In The Rye, Siddartha

  3. #3
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    For those who have read all three books: are Purgatorio and Paradiso as good as the Inferno? I have only read the Inferno but was considering the other two.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  4. #4
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    I'm reading Purgatorio right now and I love it even more than Inferno. I think all three books are great in their own way.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay
    For those who have read all three books: are Purgatorio and Paradiso as good as the Inferno? I have only read the Inferno but was considering the other two.
    Indeed!
    Out of all of the books of The Divine Comedy, I probably liked Purgatorio the most. Of course, I would suggest reading them in their intended order: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso[/I]; before reading them, too, I would recommend looking into some contemporary Italian (especially Florentine) history of Dante's era - many, many confusing allusions, or finding one with lots of footnotes.

  6. #6
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    Or, take a break from the Real Thing, and smile your way through Matilde Ascensi's the Last Cato, with very specific quotes from the Inferno throughout, as clues to the "mystery" (shamelessly foreshadowed early and often, but that's not the point).

    Here's what Publisher's Weekly wrote about it: "When the murder of an Ethiopian man covered with enigmatic tattoos roils the upper echelons of the Roman Catholic Church, Sister Ottavia Salina, head of the Restoration and Paleography Laboratory of the Vatican's Classified Archives, is called to interpret the symbolism of his "scarifications." Church officials inform Dr. Salina that the Ethiopian was but one of many who are stealing Ligna Crucis, relics of the original cross upon which Christ was crucified, from church reliquaries around the globe. The church charges her and two men—a captain of the pope's Swiss Guard, Kaspar Glauser-Roïst, and an Egyptian archeologist, Farag Boswell (whom she later falls for after 39 years of celibacy)—to retrieve the relics. Before you can say Da Vinci Code, the trio plunge into an eddy of intrigue and danger as they encounter a mysterious secret brotherhood and wend their way along a labyrinthine journey of initiation rituals—with clues provided by Dante's Divine Comedy. Asensi's first novel to be translated into English is formulaic, but readers with insatiable appetites for church history, secret societies and weird initiation rituals will find some delights."

  7. #7
    Its very helpful in understanding some of the allusions and references in the Inferno if you have an interest in the period. An important thing to keep in mind is the Guelf/ Ghibelline (sp?) conflict and how that colored Dante's attitude toward the major political players of his time. He uses these figures (a few popes included) as moral examples.

    A few things Ive noticed from my hasty reading of the Inferno

    >Dante's visual imagination.

    > The absolute certainty that anyone born before Christ's redemptive act (virtuous pagans) are bound for, at best, the first layer of Hell. I do remember reading that there may be a few exceptions in Paradiso which I havent read yet. I imagine these fortunate individuals would be the exception that proves the rule.

    > The use of the Minotaur to represent the violence of the beast inherent in man.

    > The severity of fraud as a mortal sin. From what I understand, one reason that fraud was considered such an odious act was the belief that the frauder was thought to be sowing the seeds of his/her own destruction by weaving the web of deceit. Thus fraud destroys two parties and the perpetuator of the fraud is twice damned.

    Another reason, Im sure, is the dependency of the manorial/fealty system on the integrity and personal loyalty of the gentry.
    Last edited by Woland; 06-26-2006 at 06:05 PM.
    "Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents."

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  8. #8

    dont make the mistake of buying one without annotation

    yeah, I bought a cheap 'complete' copy... but no cheap complete copy is complete without annotations. got like 1% the enjoyment.

    Quote Originally Posted by mono
    Indeed!
    Out of all of the books of The Divine Comedy, I probably liked Purgatorio the most. Of course, I would suggest reading them in their intended order: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso[/I]; before reading them, too, I would recommend looking into some contemporary Italian (especially Florentine) history of Dante's era - many, many confusing allusions, or finding one with lots of footnotes.

  9. #9
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    The severity of fraud as a mortal sin. From what I understand, one reason that fraud was considered such an odious act was the belief that the frauder was thought to be sowing the seeds of his/her own destruction by weaving the web of deceit. Thus fraud destroys two parties and the perpetuator of the fraud is twice damned.

    Another reason, Im sure, is the dependency of the manorial/fealty system on the integrity and personal loyalty of the gentry.


    I believe a great part of Dante's reasoning in damning Fraud so severely has to do with the nature of fraud as a crime/sin of the intellect. The person who kills in a blind rage or the couple like Paolo and Francesca who are unable to control their lust have simply committed a crime of passion... they have allowed their emotions to overwhelm them. With Fraud the sinner is perverting his intellect which to dante would have been seen as perverting his or her greatest god-given gift.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by philipkd
    yeah, I bought a cheap 'complete' copy... but no cheap complete copy is complete without annotations. got like 1% the enjoyment.
    Very cool - congratulations for taking the plunge!
    I will probably attempt reading it again (I have already read it twice in two different translations, but one can never quite comprehend The Divine Comedy too much ). What translation did you purchase, just out of curiosity? If I ever had the motivation, I would love to read it in its original Italian (with the early terza rima), yet I have said the same of Russian, Latin, and German works, too.
    Good luck!

  11. #11
    Registered User WriterAtTheSea's Avatar
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    Dante Mania

    Quote Originally Posted by literaturerocks View Post
    kortnii i couldnt agree with you more this story is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of its time. Dante was a great writer and this classic will stay on my bookshelf forever.
    Indeed, he really was about 200 years above his time. Amazing, really...
    Our passions are not too strong, they are too weak. We are far too easily pleased.

    ~C.S. Lewis





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  12. #12
    Registered User WriterAtTheSea's Avatar
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    Inferno is Best

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay View Post
    For those who have read all three books: are Purgatorio and Paradiso as good as the Inferno? I have only read the Inferno but was considering the other two.
    Purgatorio is not bad and Paradiso did not excite me as Dante's Inferno. I think his Inferno is incredible. You should read them, just to get a full picture of his work, but they do not (in my humble opinion) compare with Inferno...
    Our passions are not too strong, they are too weak. We are far too easily pleased.

    ~C.S. Lewis





    http://michellerichmond.com/fictionattic/?page_id=9

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